How predicted, today Microsoft is officially releasing Windows 11 version 22H2 to the general public. Version 22H2, also called Windows 11 2022 Update, is a major update that brings many fixes and improvements to the operating system, improves the Start menu, ditches the Windows 8-era user interface design, adds a new touch screen and window control functions and more. We’ve covered a lot of new features earlier this yearwhen the update was still in beta testing.
Windows 11 21H2 users may be able to see the 2022 update in Windows Update starting today, but Microsoft is planning its usual phased rollout to monitor for major issues. The update will eventually be offered to all Windows 11 users, but if you don’t see it, you can use Windows 11 installation assistant or download a fresh copy of Windows 11 installation media to start the installation manually.
True to Microsoft’s promise of “constant innovation,” they are more updates are on the way for people installing the 22H2 update. Microsoft says a tabbed version of File Explorer (among other yet-to-be-announced things) will be available as an optional update in October, and will be rolled out more broadly to all Windows 11 22H2 users in November.
“Going forward, we will continue to announce, document and deliver new features and capabilities as they become available,” Microsoft vice president John Cable wrote.
The 2022 update does not change Windows 11 system requirements in any case; it doesn’t require a newer processor or additional security hardware, but it also doesn’t extend support for anything older. But Microsoft also says it will continue to allow unsupported installs using everyone currently documented workarounds. And if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet, the free Windows 11 upgrade offer is forever — Microsoft has no plans to end it (or pretend to end it, because kind of did to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8).
As usual, a new major release of Windows comes with new graphics support. Windows 11 22H2 Home and Pro will be eligible for updates for 24 months, while Enterprise and Education editions will get a more generous 36 months. The original Windows 11 21H2 release will continue to receive updates until October 2023, after which you will need to upgrade to 22H2 or later to continue receiving updates.
Microsoft also said Windows 10 version 22H2 will be released later this month for people who can’t or don’t want to upgrade to Windows 11, in line with the company’s commitment to support Windows 10 until October 2025. The company still hasn’t released a detailed record of what will be in Windows 10 22H2, but all indications are that it won’t include much by way of new functions.